Archive for September, 2013

September 11, 2013

Building Bridges from Iceland for Entrepreneurs

I am a big believer that in order to really bring strength to the Startup Community in Iceland we need to build bridges to other Startup Communities. Nice thing about building bridges is that it allows for two way transport, Startups from Iceland could connect to other regions and the other regions can look at Iceland as a potential location or test market or whatever. This was the big motivation for me to launch Startup Iceland Conference. Conceptually, this probably resonates with everyone, however how do we do this practically?

I remember the time when Gunnar Holmsteinn, the CEO of CLARA, decided to go to San Francisco and build the business with Game Development Companies. Gunni is a very resourceful and resilient individual, I knew that and I supported his enthusiasm to venture into the deep end of the pool. He bought a one way flight ticket and just left for the US. It was very entrepreneurial and I was patiently waiting for the call that was going to come. Within a week he called me and was saying that he had basically contacted over 100 landlords in Craigslist to get a place to stay and none of them wanted to rent the place to him, because he did not have a credit score in the US. He had better luck with getting a working desk and he was crashing in a couch on his friends apartment. Luckily, my partners and I had a guest house through one of our other investments in the US, and he was able to base himself there and basically go about building his network and CLARA. The reason I am outlining the above story is because the practicalities of building a business involves going to places and markets where it makes sense for the startup to be connected.

Now, with Gunnar and Andri in San Francisco Bay Area, any startup in Iceland wanting to take advantage of the Silicon Valley can reach out to them and get their help. This is what I mean by building a bridge. CLARA and other startups (Mobilitus, DataMarket etc) from Iceland have been pioneers in actually building the bridge while they were building their company.

PivotDeskThere is a better way, what if we could get connected with other startups in different communities through a service in various different cities and you could actually rent a desk and seek the help of that startup or leaders in that startup community to get started in that community? That is precisely what PivotDesk does, I had a chance to get connected through Jason Mendelson, who participated in Startup Iceland. Jason is an investor in this company and I think it is brilliant.

PivotDesk helps entrepreneurs build great companies. We do that by eliminating one of the biggest barriers that all entrepreneurs face: Finding the right place to grow your business. By providing all the tools each side needs to make it a beneficial and no-stress relationship, PivotDesk will transform the way you think about office space.

So if you are a startup and are looking to expand or explore a market potential in the US, do yourself a favor and check out PivotDesk, believe me you will be thankful that you did. I plan to do that for GreenQloud.

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